Ivorian journalist sentenced three months in jail

Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- A court in Abidjan has sentenced Meite Sindou, editor in chief of the daily Le Patriote, to three months suspended prison term for defamation, legal sources revealed Thursday.
The court also ordered that Sindou, who was tried in absentia, pay a fine of 100,000 CFA francs and a nominal sum to Bleou as damages.
Le Patriote had published an article stating that Martin Bleou, president of the Ivorian Human Rights League owns 100 million CFA francs in a Swiss account.
The article, which was published in three consecutive editions of the paper (10-12 June 2000) under the by-line of Sindou, reported that Bleou made the deposit through electronic transfer.
It further reported that Bleou held an account at the Swiss bank where the transfer was made on 7 March 2000.
But Bleou denied the allegations and the court cleared him.
This was the first suit against a journalist in Cote d'Ivoire under President Laurent Gbagbo.

10 may 2001 21:06:00

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